17 Oct 2016

Tormentstorm: "Into the Ominous Door"

Huge improvements that ultimately end up stranded in shallow waters
Most would probably agree that Tormentstorm's earlier outing, the Up From the Grave demo from 2012, was a misbegotten mess of black-thrash instrumentation. The demo was poorly received because it was poorly conceived. Tormentstorm's driving force, Malice, however, does not let himself sway easily, and as such returned the year after with a full length album.

Where Up From the Grave made it seem like Malice couldn't possibly be serious, Into the Ominous Door shows that he is, in fact, quite serious about his music. If nothing else, the album is a tremendous improvement in the fact that his deathly black metal riffs have structure, with much more feel for the overall flow of tunes. Malice keeps his arrangements defiantly simple, giving the finger to the overly complicated compositions of the bands of today.

"...the drums and the bass are but faint whispers in the background of a cloud of sound..."

Tormentstorm feels right at home in a sadistic blend of thrashing black and death metal, but guitars are definitely Malice's main instrument by the sound of Into the Ominous Door. When it comes to the rhythm department, he definitely cuts corners, and as a result the drums and the bass are but faint whispers in the background of a cloud of sound that is already thick and oversaturated with distortion. 

The proper drive and power that the rhythm section usually creates is nonexistent and has assisted in creating something that desperately craves enthusiasm, spontaneity and wildness. While Malice's riffs are surprisingly varied for an album in the genre, it simply isn't enough to elevate the moribund driving forces. As a whole, the album feels like it has a lot of wasted effort. The riffs and compositions themselves are great, but there is too little attention on the core mechanics that drive the music forward, and as such the album wanders and meanders its way into the shadows of prolonged obscurity.


Released in 2013 by No Sleep till Megiddo Records


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